It is the responsibility of the editorial board to select the poems for the two Montreal Prize global anthologies. Our editors come from many different places with unique poetic traditions, including Australia, Canada, England, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Malawi, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, and the United States. In order to bring together different voices and perspectives from around the world, the members of the editorial board will change with every new competition.
Meet the 2011 Editorial Board!
Valerie Bloom was born and grew up in Jamaica, but now lives in England. She is the author of several volumes of poetry for adults and children, picture books, pre-teen and teenage novels and stories for children, and has edited a number of collections of poetry for children. She has presented poetry programmes for the BBC, and has contributed to various radio and television programmes. Valerie Bloom has been awarded an Honorary Masters Degree from the University of Kent, and recently an MBE for services to poetry. She performs her poetry, runs writing workshops and conducts training courses for teachers worldwide.
Stephanie Bolster is a Canadian poet whose first book, White Stone: The Alice Poems, won the Governor General’s Award and the Gerald Lampert Award in 1998. She has published two other poetry collections, Two Bowls of Milk, which won the Archibald Lampman Award, and Pavilion, and her work has been translated into French (Pierre Blanche: poèmes d’Alice), Spanish, and German. She edited The Ishtar Gate: Last and Selected Poems by the late Ottawa poet Diana Brebner, and The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2008, and co-edited Penned: Zoo Poems. Raised in Burnaby, B.C., she has taught creative writing at Concordia University since 2000 and lives in Pointe-Claire, Québec.
Frank M. Chipasula is a Malawian poet, editor, fiction writer and publisher of Brown Turtle Press. Currently Professor of African Studies, he has held the first Judge William Holmes Cook Professorship in the department at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, and taught at Howard University, Tamkang University in Tamsui, Taiwan, University of Nebraska at Omaha, St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, Brown and Yale Universities. He was the English Editor for NECZAM Ltd., the former national publishers of Zambia in Lusaka and, as an undergraduate student at the University of Malawi, he freelanced on the M.B.C. (Malawi Broadcasting Corporation) in Blantyre, Malawi. Chipasula’s Visions and Reflections (1972) was followed by O Earth, Wait for Me(1984), Nightwatcher, Nightsong (1986) and Whispers in the Wings: New and Selected Poems (1991). He is currently working on The Burning Rose: New and (Re)Selected Poems. He has also edited When My Brothers Come Home: Poems from Central and Southern Africa (Wesleyan University Press, 1985), (with Stella) The Heinemann Book of African Women’s Poetry (Heinemann 1995) and Bending the Bow: An Anthology of African Love Poetry (2009). His poems have appeared in numerous literary journals, newspapers and anthologies in English, French, Spanish and Chinese.
Fred D’Aguiar is a poet, novelist, playwright and essayist born in London of Guyanese parents and brought up in Guyana. He returned to London for his secondary and tertiary education. His ten books of poetry and fiction were translated into a dozen languages. Currently, he teaches at Virginia Tech where he is Gloria D. Smith Professor of Africana Studies and Professor of English. For more see, freddaguiar.com
Michael Harris was born in Glasgow, Scotland and grew up in Montreal. Harris has written seven books of poetry, won several prizes, and has been published in leading journals in North America and Europe. He has given over 200 readings throughout Canada and around the world and has translated the complete poetry of Marie-Claire Blais. Harris is also the founding editor of Véhicule Press’s Signal Editions. He has edited over fifty books of poetry by over thirty-five authors. In 1994, he edited The Signal Anthology: Contemporary Canadian Poetry. His most recent book, Circus (2010) was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award.
John Kinsella was born in Perth, Australia. His most recent books include Divine Comedy: Journeys Through a Regional Geography (WW Norton, 2008), Activist Poetics: Anarchy in the Avon Valley (ed. Niall Lucy; Liverpool University Press/Chicago University Press, 2010), and Sand (with Robert Drewe; Fremantle Press, 2010). HisPeripheral Light: Selected and New Poems (selected and introduced by Harold Bloom) was published in 2004 (WW Norton). He is a Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia and a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University. He is the editor of The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry (Penguin, 2009).
Sinéad Morrissey was born in 1972 and grew up in Belfast. She has published four collections of poetry: There was Fire in Vancouver (1996); Between Here and There(2002); The State of the Prisons (2005), and Through the Square Window (2009), all with Carcanet Press. Her awards include The Patrick Kavanagh Award, an Eric Gregory Award, the Rupert and Eithne Strong Award, and the Michael Hartnett Poetry Prize. Her last three collections have all been shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize. In 2007 she received a Lannan Literary Fellowship from the U.S.A. Her poem “Through the Square Window” took first place in the UK National Poetry Competition the same year. The collection Through the Square Window was awarded the Irish Times/Poetry Now Award in 2010 and was also shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection. She is currently Lecturer in Creative Writing at The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, Queen’s University, Belfast.
Odia Ofeimun is a Nigerian poet and political journalist. Ofeimun is a former president of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), and former lead columnist for TheNEWS/TEMPO publications. His works-in-progress include the poetry anthologyTwentieth Century Nigerian Poetry, two essay collections and a long-awaited political biography of Obafemi Awolowo. Since Nigeria’s return to civil rule, Ofeimun has become a highly-respected and much-sought-after opinion leader and public speaker, giving speeches to NGOs and other civil society outfits. He is a leading champion of human rights and anti-corruption crusades in Nigeria, and he remains steadfastly independent of political organizations in the country. Ofeimun’s poems have been anthologised in Okike(ed. Chinua Achebe), Poems of Black Africa (ed. Wole Soyinka, 1975), Festac Anthology of Nigerian New Writing (ed. Cyprian Ekwensi, 1977), Poetry for Africa (ed. Gerald Moore and Ulli Beier, 1985), and Heinemann Book of African Poetry in English (ed. Adewale Maja-Pearce, 1990). His poetry collections include The Poet Lied(1980), and A Handle for the Flutist (1986). His poems for dance-drama, Under African Skies and Siye Goli (A Feast of Return, 1992) were commissioned and performed across Britain and Western Europe by Adzido, the London-based Pan-African Dance Ensemble. A Feast, staged by Hornbill House is currently on tour in Nigeria’s capital cities.
Eric Ormsby has published six poetry collections. His poems have appeared in such magazines as The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and PN Review, and are included inThe Norton Anthology of Poetry. An essayist and reviewer, he has also published two collections of essays on poetry and translation. He received a doctorate in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University; he taught Islamic thought for twenty years at McGill University before moving to London in 2005. He has written extensively on Classical Arabic literature and Islamic thought and has translated works of medieval Islamic philosophy from both Arabic and Persian.
Anand Thakore is a Hindustani classical vocalist by training and vocation. Born in Mumbai in 1971, he was raised there and in the U.K. He was educated at Solihull Public School and The Cathedral & John Connon School, Mumbai. He earned a BA in English and Sanskrit Literature at Elphinstone College, Mumbai and an MA in English Literature at the University of Pune. Thakore’s poems and critical essays on poetry and music have appeared in various national and international journals and anthologies. His first collection of verse, Waking in December, was published by Harbour Line, a writers’ collective which he co-founded and runs. He is the founder of ‘Kshitij’, a group of Hindustani musicians devoted to the traditional ‘mehfil’, and the sustenance of an atmosphere conducive to live improvisation and interaction between practicing musicians, connoisseurs and the general audience. He lives in Mumbai where he teaches music privately and gives frequent public performances of his music and poetry.